Marilyn Monroe unfortunately lived a very difficult life. One that has been explored in film time and time again. Blonde does things a little differently, however. Based on a book that looks at points in Marilyn’s life through a fictitious lens, Blonde is a trippy, disturbing, and perplexing film that had me leaving the theatre speechless. It’s hard to pinpoint the last time a film has left me so confused not just about what I had just watched, but how I felt about it.
This review is part of my coverage of TIFF ’22, which held Pearl’s North American premiere.
Director Ti West has performed an interesting feat. Right after filming X, he had filmed Pearl, a prequel to it right afterwards, in secret. This makes for a well thought out, exciting prequel with a strong connective tissue between it and X. Dark, disturbing, and a ton of fun, Pearl is a surreal film that is as good as X, and yet manages to be something completely different, serving as an excellent origin story of the villain in X.
This review is part of my coverage of TIFF ’22, which held Glass Onion’s world premiere.
Writer/Director Rian Johnson perfected the whodunnit mystery genre in Knives Out, one of my favourite films of 2019. While it could have very easily been a rehash of the first film, Glass Onion once again breathes new life into this genre with a completely new cast, a new mystery to solve, and a familiar central character whose exciting return appears to be building him up as the modern-day Sherlock Holmes.
This review is part of my coverage of TIFF ’22. I attended this film’s world premiere on September 8th.
The Inspection is a film that is actually based on the filmmaker’s life. It’s not autobiographical per-se, there is an element of fiction here, but the end result is still a powerful, meaningful, and intense film that will hold a very special place in many peoples’ hearts, especially those who are queer and whose families may not be accepting of them.
This review is the first in my coverage of TIFF ’22, with a bunch of films that I have planned to review. This film kicked off the festival’s Midnight Madness program with its world premiere. I feel lucky and honoured to be among the first in the world to review this film.
In an industry where the biopic genre is all the rage, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is unique in its own right. Inspired by a “trailer” for a Weird Al biopic that went viral back in 2010, it has been completely fleshed out into a feature length masterclass of silliness, taking every possible biopic trope and ripping them apart. Needless to say, the film is as insane as the titular musician who co-wrote it. And I mean that as the best possible compliment I can give. This film is for people who hate the biopic genre and/or love Weird Al. I’ve been a Weird Al fan since I was a kid, so I adored this movie.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker marks the end of the 9-film Skywalker Saga, and after Rian Johnson’s disastrous The Last Jedi, fans were really hoping this would be the film that redeemed this new trilogy and ended it on a high note. To put it simply, it did not. Instead, the trilogy ends being the same thing it has been the whole time: a jumbled mess with no direction on where to go.
I remember the lead-up to the release of the original Frozen. It’s always an exciting event when Disney releases another musical fairy tale film. It was a Disney musical, not unlike Tangled which came out just a few years prior, but apparently, Disney did not have high hopes for it. But after a great team putting everything they can into the film and a strong marketing campaign, it released back in 2013, and I remember enjoying it. Then it made over $1 billion and everyone couldn’t shut up about it. Short film after short film came afterward, including one 22-minute long short that was released in theatres before Coco. That, to me, crossed the line. Anyways, as the film became more and more of a phenomenon, the franchise grew stale really quick, and I felt a sense of resentment towards the franchise, rather than one of fondness. But what does this rambling have to do with the sequel, Frozen II? Well, I suppose one tiny shred of me thought that this film could redeem the whole franchise, take a risk and go the distance to make something incredible. I came into the theatre with low expectations, and still left disappointed at how safe and, honestly, lazy this movie felt.
I have been anticipating Disney+ for months. Upon learning that the entirety of the Disney Animation and Pixar libraries will be available for streaming, how can an aficionado like me not be excited? Now that it’s out, while I’m enjoying it a lot, it didn’t surprise or wow me like streaming services like Netflix have over and over again. It’s still early days, but I think that the launch should have given us more. More specifically, more original content and a more expansive and diverse library of previously released film and TV.
Jojo Rabbit is Taika Waititi’s latest film. After the success of Thor: Ragnarok, he has left the superhero movie space for a while (until the next Thor movie) and has given us a satirical comedy that is jam packed with both humour and more deep and meaningful subject matter. Jojo Rabbit walked a fine line that I did not expect it to walk, all the more reason why I respect this movie greatly and thoroughly enjoyed it.
When I first heard the announcement of this movie a few years back, I was intrigued. An animated Spider-Man film with the great Phil Lord and Chris Miller serving as producers and co-writers is a combination you simply cannot go wrong with. However, I did not expect a film with the level of inventiveness that this film has. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is unlike anything I have ever seen before and is easily my pick for the best film of 2018.